Michael Trillo, DJ: It’s getting hot in herre
Dunedin teenager Michael Trillo is rarely home on Saturday nights. Finding him is as simple as locating the sound of prolonged bass drops, intoxicating beat sequences, and revelling partygoers. But Michael is not drinking, dancing, or awkwardly getting girls’ numbers like the majority of other young people in Dunedin on Saturday nights (link semi-NSFW). At 16 years old, Michael Trillo is one of Dunedin’s hottest up-and-coming young DJ’s.
Michael’s account of how he first became a DJ is notably sans bullshit. He said that one day he heard a DJ playing on The Edge’s Party Hour, and then he did some research on what it took to spin the decks at a radio station. Then he taught himself the essentials, like how to mix and cut music, read the crowd, and and synchronise beats.
That was about a year ago. Since then, the company Trillo has been set up as an umbrella for everything Michael does, from planning events, to playing at paid gigs, to producing for other DJs.
Michael is currently juggling year 12 at King’s High School in Dunedin with, what is now, his full time job of running Trillo. He has a team of 4 others who help him with the company’s day-to-day operations. Rose, Michael’s mother, manages his finances and initially bought the equipment Michael needed to get started. A few of Michael’s school friends serve as part of his team. Holly Young, a popular photographer in Dunedin, takes all the photos at Michael’s Gigs. Jesse Wilson is Trillo’s sound and lighting expert, and directs the set up of most venues. Last but certainly not least, Alana Bagley is Trillo’s product advertiser, and is in charge of promoting all of Trillo’s gigs. These four high school teenagers are successfully running a music company. I wonder what they’ll be doing in a few year’s time!
Michael’s first paying gig came early last year when a friend offered to pay him to play at her party. Since, then he’s been almost booked out completely, with at least one gig every weekend. Michael has been asked to DJ at some large festivals too, like the upcoming Revolution Tour which has over 5,000 attendees.
The next step for Michael is to secure a regular spot on OAR, where DJ’s need a minimum 3-month sponsorship to cover the cost of music licensing. He has already done several sets at the station, but if he wishes to continue, Michael will need to find a sponsor to help front the costs of playing.
It’s inspiring to see a high school teenager so motivated. If Michael continues on his projectile path, we might have to add another famous young musician to the history books. Watch out Lorde.